Through my research here and at bodybuilding.com, I read somewhere that once in a while you should up the reps and lower the weight for week. It seemed like a good idea to me. I thought it would sort of be like taking a week to let my body catch up and heal, while still spending some time in the gym.
So last night I started my week of doing 3 sets of 15 with less weight, instead of my standard 3 sets of 8. I very quickly discovered that either I didn’t reduce the weight sufficiently or my idea that it would be an “easy, healing week” was completely wrong. It was the closest I’ve come to puking or passing out since I started training again.
So my question is, was I just using too much weight? or was I completely wrong about this kind of week being a recuperating week? Is it supposed to be a kick my ass even more sort of week?
These are called deload weeks. THe main thing is to reduce volume so that the muscles and CNS can recover fully, but not to go backwards in training poundages. Apply the rule of 60%. Get 60% of the volume by either reducing the total number of reps by 40% but keeping the weight the same, or use 60% of the poundage and keep the reps the same.
Using higher reps, on the order of 15-20 means that you have to really cut the weight down to between 30% and 50% of your 1 rep max. Basically you use your warm up weights for the whole exercise. This is for improving the conditioning of a muscle and floods it with blood, removing built up toxins and flushing it with nutrients for recovery. And it gives your CNS a break as well. Supposedly good for the joints since you’re increasing blood flow to them as well and deloading the ligiaments and tendons and letting them catch up in growth and strength. Because of limited blood supply and this being the nature of ligaments and tendons, they tend to strengthen more slowly. They’re already pretty strong, but they can lag behind the mucles, especialy if you’re on gear.
sorry for the novel…[/quote]
Good post. If you’re lifting to near failure, you’re working hard even if it’s a higher rep scheme that you’re doing. It’s not a deload week. It doesn’t mean a bad thing though. It can be a plateau breaker if you’ve been doing mostly low rep work. But if you want a true deload week, reduce the volume or the intensity.